Splitting Personalities in Greener Grass

17th Dallas International Film Festival

By Alyson Powers

Absurdity captures attention— and Greener Grass jumps all over this. In a hyper-surreal world writers Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe, and director Paul Briganti place real? humans in a Sims setting. Insert here a brief synopsis of the story but for two days I’ve been trying to figure it out. As I trek along with the hike that this film challenges me to, a repeated, two-word question runs through my thoughts. What if? And so all these what-ifs are concentrated in a ramble of unfocused thinking and yes … absurdity.

Greener Grass resembles a Saturday Night Live skit that has worn out its welcome. So far this opinion comes off in a punitive whip but is not in that in any way. The industry needs bravery of this sort to really push ideas of how far we can bombard boundaries to make a point. Like a New York fashion show achieves the wake-up and stun tactic, in what new ways can storytellers parody suburban life, politics, stereotypes. This film attempts all of the above but misses the linking thread and the nice little bow tied up for the Ah Ha moment. Maybe that IS the point whereas the greener grass concept originates in our distorted egos. There is no sense in it.

Jocelyn DeBoer has this real close-to-naive-high-school-girl demeanor, although she is actually a mom (sort of), and it makes Jill not only the protagonist but also the antagonist. And she’s the highlight of the plot, a joy to watch. Your typical man vs. self is not the order here. It’s a world full of protagonists and antagonists and split personalities. Hence the concept of the “other” side. This epiphany just came to me during this writing. For the synopsis, but you’ll have to watch it yourself.

If you are a diehard fan of SNL’s digital sketches then you will connect with this film that could be a real delight. The film is filled with sketch comedy professionals for any fan to enjoy, but best to stay clear of this neighborhood if absurdist humor is not your idea of a fun-time.

15th Dallas International Film Festival